The 2009 European Parliament Elections: From Votes to Seats in 27 Ways

Kai-Friederike Oelbermann

Antonio Palomares

Friedrich Pukelsheim


An account on the exact description on how votes are translated into seats during the 2009 European Parliament elections is presented. A complete list of weblinks to the national electoral provisions of the 27 Member States, and to the official election results is included. The electoral provisions are subject to principles common to all Member States laid down in the European Electoral Act as amended in 2002. We scrutinize conformance with regard to Articles 1–3, that is (1) the seat apportionment procedure (three different divisor methods, quota methods with ten different quotas and two different largest remainder variants, and single transferable vote systems with random and fractional transfer), (2) the concept of regional representation (establishment of constituencies, subdivisions into districts, and electoral alliances), and (3) electoral thresholds (relative to valid votes, relative to votes cast, and implicit thresholds). It turns out that Bulgaria and Lithuania impose thresholds higher than five percent of votes cast, and that the Italian provisions include self-contradictory clauses with respect to the regional subdivision.



European Parliament, Elections 2009, Electoral System, European Electoral Act, Political Groups in the European Parliament